YOUNG novice motorists should face tougher res-trictions behind the wheel after passing their tests, a leading insurer has said.

His calls closely echo those made by The Lancashire Telegraph's Wasted Lives campaign, aimed at ending the carnage on our roads.

Speaking yesterday, Association of British Insurers (ABI) boss Nick Starling said motorists under the age of 25 should have a minimum one-year learning per-iod before taking their test.

The group also claimed newly-qualified drivers aged under 25 should hold a graduated driving licence for two years and then have to take a second test.

He said new young drivers should not be allowed to drink any alcohol while driving and should be restricted in the hours when they can take to the road.

This graduated licence would contain restrictions on the number of passengers that can be carried while there should also be restrictions on driving between 11pm and 4am unless driving was necessary for work purposes.

The proposals were set out by the ABI in an effort to cut the high level of deaths and serious injuries involving young drivers.

The Wasted Lives campaign called for all of the same measures, particularly focusing on a bid to introduce a graduated licence scheme.

Motorists aged under 25 are twice as likely to fail a breathalyser test and are more at risk when driving late at night and early in the morning.

They also account for a high proportion of death and serious injury accidents on the roads.

Mr Starling, ABI’s director of general insurance and health, said: “Our proposals are not designed to drive young drivers off the road, but to ensure that they become safer drivers.

"We must act to reduce the tragic loss of young lives on our roads.

“While recent years may have seen a reduction in road accident fatalities and serious injuries, the figures are still too high.

“We need tough action to better equip young drivers to handle the dangers of driving."

The AA said many of the ideas from the ABI were ‘unworkable’ and said ‘education is the key’.